Three young people were recognised with Civic Appreciation Awards at tonight's Full Council meeting, to celebrate their tremendous contributions to their local communities and the borough of Oldham.
Keira-Louise Arnold, Hannah Miah and Ibrahim Yousaf have all raised thousands of pounds for charity, despite facing many challenges themselves.
After losing her father at an early age, Keira has been raising money via the "Keira’s Wishes" fund and, over the last five years, has raised more than £40k for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Royton; where her father was cared for before his death.
The money Keira raised has been used to make a real difference for people using the hospice; such as by buying televisions for the inpatient unit, funding trips and organising celebrations including early Christmas days and a wedding reception for a terminally ill patient.
Keira also organised virtual markets during the pandemic as a way to continue fundraising for Dr Kershaw’s.
Also receiving her Civic Appreciation Award earlier tonight was Hannah Miah. Hannah's fundraising efforts are international - after watching a video about street children in Bangladesh, she was inspired to take action and attempt to make their lives better any way she could.
Though she's still only 10 years old, Hannah has raised more than £15k for charity in just over a year, through gruelling sponsored walks - proving that great things can be accomplished no matter what your age. Her fundraising efforts so far have helped to build two shelters for children in Bangladesh.
Hannah completes many of her fundraising activities with her father, Jewel Miah, who was awarded an MBE in 2016 for voluntary services. Most of Hannah’s efforts so far have gone to The Muslim Charity, set up to help children in Bangladesh, but she has also raised money for Human Aid and other charities.
A Civic Award was also set to be presented at today's meeting to Ibrahim (Ibby) Yousaf, who unfortunately could't be at the meeting to receive his accolade.
Ibby, who has suffered with his own poor health, has overcome significant adversity to raise a huge amount of money for charities across the borough.
He has previously been recognised for his efforts on a national level when, in 2019, he became the youngest person in the country to be awarded a British Empire Medal at the age of just 13, as well as being awarded the British Citizen Youth Award in July 2019.
Ibby, his family and his supporters have used social media to great effect to highlight his campaigns and bring others along with them, often encouraging others to take part in challenges and leading to increased fundraising.
Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Leader of Oldham Council, said: "These young people are truly an inspiration to all of us here in Oldham.
"They've faced challenges in their lives that would have been difficult for people to handle as adults, let alone at such young ages. But instead, against all odds, they've shown resilience, courage and tremendous generosity in raising money for those who need it the most, even in the most trying of times.
"Keira has continually been recognised here in Oldham, in Greater Manchester and nationally as a spectacular fundraiser; while Ibby's fundraising efforts for charities including Oldham Foodbank, Maggie’s Oldham, Mahdlo, Dr Kershaw’s, UKEFF, Street Angels, Team Hill, OACT and REEL CIC have been celebrated by none other than her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
"Meanwhile Hannah, at the age of only 10, has already made a huge difference to the lives of children thousands of miles away in Bangladesh. I'm so proud of all of these wonderful young people and am delighted to be able to celebrate their achievements on behalf of the people of Oldham."